18 Mar 2019

Ford Sheds (At Least) 5,000 Jobs in Europe

5,000 jobs to go from Ford's German facilities.
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Ford has began its ‘transformation’ in Europe, with 5,000 jobs on the chopping block as first order of business as detailed in a statement released on Friday March 15.

“In excess of 5,000 jobs” will go in Germany - where Ford of Europe is headquartered, while the US carmaker has also thrown doubt on an unspecified number of jobs in the UK.

For the company to reach its 5,000-plus job cut target, it said on Friday that it would be offering “voluntary separation programs”.

The company said that its transformation - which was first announced back in January - was part of a plan to return to profitability in Europe.

As part of the plan, the company would establish three business groups focused on passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and imports.

While the rest of Ford’s plan is mostly corporate-speak for cost-cutting, the company said it would be looking to streamline its models on offer in Europe for a more targeted marketing approach.

That plan would involve “exiting” less profitable vehicles - though no models have been named by the company as in the firing line.

By Ford’s own press releases, the commercial side of the business is the strongest when it comes to the competition - Ford claimed in January that it was the top commercial carmaker in Europe by sales for the fourth consecutive year, selling 380,900 commercial vehicles in 2018 - up 8.1 percent over the previous year and snagging itself 14.1 percent market share.

By comparison, the 970,000 Ford passenger vehicles sold in 2018 only netted 6.5 percent market share, and sales were down 3.5 percent on 2017.

Ford of Europe assembles Focus, C-Max and Fiesta models across its three assembly facilities in Germany, while its UK operations assemble transmissions and engines used across the range.

Focus models available in Australia are imported from Germany.

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